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 :: Black Confederates ::
Information about African-Americans serving in the Confederate Army in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

*RARE editorial note: many people have emailed me about this topic, which has become rather heated these days. I have deliberately avoided taking a position here, and will continue to do so, except to say that the sources below are sources I have personally found. Despite many peoples' wishes, I refuse to add sites that are not first-person in nature, or add transcriptions of documents that I have not personally seen. As a concluding note, the sources below are the only sources I found during close readings of Richmond newspapers that specifically mention African-American fighting men in Confederate service.*

Documents pertaining to the enlistment of slaves and free blacks in the Confederate Army. 

Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, p. 1193. 2/14/1865; negro workers at Jackson Hospital are volunteering for field service
OR, Series IV, Vol. 3, p. 1093 2/17/1865; J. T. L. Preston, Acting Superintendent of VMI, offers the services of the corps in training negro troops and cites the corps' previous experience as drillmasters in 1861 and notes that they drilled 15,000 recruits in 2 months at Camp Lee.
National Archives, RG 109 3/16/1865; Jackson Battalion moved from Jackson Hospital to the front, under the command of Col. Ship, commanding the VMI Corps. Reports on their good conduct
Richmond Sentinel 3/18/1865; two negroes who were sentenced to be hanged for burglary are released on the condition that they join T. P. Turner's "black brigade"
Richmond Sentinel 3/21/1865; Winder-Jackson Battalion; including Negroes to parade
Richmond Dispatch 3/23/1865; negroes employed at Winder & Jackson join the army
Richmond Enquirer 3/23/1865; description of the Winder-Jackson Battalion's parade at Capitol square; call for Richmond ladies to produce a flag for this unit
Richmond Enquirer 3/23/1865; details on recruitment of black troops and call for volunteers; rendezvous for negro troops is at Smith's factory, 21st street. T. P. Turner (Libby Prison) is one of the officers
Richmond Sentinel 3/23/1865; description of the Winder-Jackson Battalion's parade at Capitol square
Richmond Sentinel 3/30/1865; a free negro in Maj. Turner's battalion grows tired of the drill and decides to walk off with stolen clothes
OR, Series IV, Vol. 3, p. 1194 4/2/1865; T.P. Turner writes about raising negro troops

Confederate Congress: Second Congress, Second Session, Senate, March 7, 1865: The Negro Soldier Question. Southern Historical Society Papers 52 (1959), pp. 452-457.

Preisser, Thomas M. "The Virginia Decision to Use Negro Soldiers in the Civil War, 1864-1865." VMHB 83 (Jan. 1975), pp. 98-111.

Page last updated on 03/12/2008